Chicago artist paints horse portraits, thoroughbred races

October 5, 2011 3:30:20 PM PDT
It takes a very quiet studio for Thomas Allen Pauly to paint the excitement of thoroughbred racing.

Since the 1970s, Pauly has been paying jockeys and their horsepower.

"A friend of mine, his dad owned a harness horse and I was at a party where he invited everyone out to the track and his horse won and I got hooked. I was 18 years old and I went to the track ever since then," Pauly said. "[I] started painting horses."

Pauly has no idea how many thousands of horses he has painted, but he is now known around the world for his paintings, which combine strength and elegance. He loves to capture the racetrack atmosphere.

"The thunder of the hoofs just coming down ... and the jockeys popping the horses. It's really, really an amazing feeling," Pauly said. He works off photographs that he has taken at the track. He takes hundreds of shots, picks out the best and then, "I blow it up and then I just start sketching it ..... and before I know it I have a nice painting."

For the past two years, Pauly has been featured in a one-man show at the Kentucky Derby. His horse portraits look so real they could be mistaken for photographs. There's nothing abstract here.

"Very realistic. I feel that when one does a painting of a racehorse it should look like the racehorse. It should look like the jockey. That's what my clients expect," Pauly said.

Pauly is colorblind, but despite that he always gets his colors right and charges between $5,000 and $25,000 a painting.

Thomas Allen Pauly
5215 N. Ravenswood
(773) 208 7801
tap@horseartist.com
horseartist.com

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